Futurama Review: Barfapalooza
If there's any moral to be taken from "Fun on a Bun" it is that drunken rowdiness is far superior to a classy gathering. Because the latter just leads to thinking you just ate your ex, then neanderthals will rise up, and prize-winning chefs will be murdered by a homicidal robot.
You know, the kind that Aesop wrote about.
This was a Fry and Leela episode, the kind that forms the emotional backbone of this show. Their relationship (or lack thereof) has been the catalyst for some of its most heart-wrenching and satisfying moments. They are what makes watching this series so much more satisfying than Family Guy, which in modern times has developed a nasty misanthropic streak that's occasionally hard to watch.
Futurama makes fun of its characters, and is certainly a goofy show at heart, but it has pathos.
So, on a critical level, I will say that it didn't register that deeply: Fry wasn't actually going to wind up being chopped up into sausage because of course he isn't going to die. Putting untouchable main characters into seeming mortal peril is one of the most annoying tropes that TV shows continue to use. This isn't even the first time since the Comedy Central revival that a similar story framework has been used, either.
Yet I continue to find these scenes extremely touching. The kiss between Fry and Leela was the most passionate moment between the two of them since they had sex in Professor Farnsworth and Zoidberg's bodies in "The Prisoner of Benda" and I still can't believe that was an actual thing that happened.
The Hermes and "slow sloth trying to attack him" bit was overly-long and funny in the way that these kinds of overly-long bits should be. Bender's misadventures as a sausage chef felt like they should netted a callback to his days in "The 30% Iron Chef" but, hey, shows don't necessarily need to be referencing past episodes when they show plenty of evidence that they respect their continuity.
For example, there were plenty of snapshots of Fry and Leela moments in the background of her brain when she regained her memory. That's good enough for me.
And, really, that's the best way to describe this episode. It was imperfect, but full of the heart and humor that are so endearing. I left feeling satisfied, and in the end, that's why I keep watching.